A traditional south Indian spread, confluenced by Tamil and Kerala cuisines, was the theme of the dinner menu prepared for the Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, when the Prime Minister hosted the Chinese President on the first day of the informal summit at Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu on Friday.
The feast included a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies such as the trademark sambhar and thakkali rasam.
The two leaders were treated to a sumptuous dinner which had ‘arachavitta sambar‘, a gravy consisting of lentils stewed with grounded spice mix and ‘thakali rasam‘, which is a spiced extract of tomatoes.
Apart from these traditional South Indian meals, Xi was also treated to meat dishes that had lobster, mutton, chicken strips. Seafood also featured on the menu in the form of ‘karuvepillai meen varuval‘, a griddle cooked curry leaf dish was served to them.
Adding more flavour to the dinner, the menu had ‘Beetroot gongura chop’ and ‘Pacha sundakai Aricha Kozhambu’, made of pea aubergine with tamarind and jaggery. The desserts in the spread were also kept traditional with a Kerala touch as ‘ada pradhanam’, a rice palette cooked with jaggery and coconut milk was served apart from South Indian variety of pudding and speciality ice cream.
Xi-Modi kicked off the two-day informal summit at Mamallapuram, around 50 km from Chennai, which is the second edition after the previous one held in April last year in Wuhan. The first day came to a close after the two leaders took a tour around the coastal town and visited heritage sites and watched a cultural performance before indulging in the dinner.